31 August 2011

Answers: Two Truths and One Lie

The three sentences:
1. I like mustard.
2. I enjoy going to car shows.
3. Daisies are my favorite flower.

1. Evil Twin
2. Flying Umbrella
3. Asteraceae

The first one is false. I like ketchup, not mustard.
I love going to car shows with my Dad. Despite cars not being the best thing for the environment, they can be beautiful. Amy, I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this one.
Daisies are such a happy flower! Asteraceae is the family of flowers, and I love the whole family!

Thanks for playing along!

Coping: Guest Post on The Wounded Warrior

Jan Metal Man allowed me to do a guest post for him today on his blog, The Wounded Warrior! I enjoy his poetry. He also writes about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. From his blog description, "This is my place to offload, share and let go. Have a seat, kick off your shoes and join me. Leave your prejudices at the door, open your mind and learn." Take a look at his page, maybe enjoy some of his poetry, and let him know you've visited by leaving some comments (perhaps on my poem).

30 August 2011

Two Truths and One Lie

Today's prompt on NaBloPoMo is to tell two truths and a lie. I often get so into thinking about truths people won't believe that I can't come up with a matching lie. This time, I chose three things which have been included in previous posts. This means regular readers have an advantage, or you could do some treasure hunting by back-reading.

1. I like mustard.
2. I enjoy going to car shows.
3. Daisies are my favorite flower.

I'll post the answer in 24 hours (with the reference poems).

I'd love if you would play along, so please leave a comment. Guess which 1 sentence of mine is a lie and leave  three sentences for me to guess.

Beer Haiku

Unfinished beer:
the story too good
to stop for a drink.

Recently a friend of mine was telling us such a crazy story, she forgot she had a beer waiting to be drunk. I found the half-full beer in the morning. 

29 August 2011

Entertaining Friends

It's not a formal event.
No need to fret,
but it is their first time over.

The house is clean,
the drinks made ready,
and dinner started.

They arrive, bearing gifts.
Drinks are quickly served
and dinner is finishing up.

The presentation:
imperfectly made food
but still delicious,
maybe more so for the mistakes.

Friends often prove
all the more lovely
because they're real people,

28 August 2011

Edge of the Storm

The air feels light, less dense.
It moves with varying speeds, directions.
It has a special smell of wet.
(My kindergarten teacher said water doesn't have a smell.)

Almost imperceptibly at first
a few drops start falling,
nothing to really worry over.
(Although, Mom still called to check up on us.)

A short trip outside for the dog.
She doesn't mind the wet,
only the stronger winds.
(They're what'll give us the most trouble, anyway.)

Nothing to do but wait,
avoid being outside, 
and hope for others' safety.
(It'll pass, like everything else.)

We Write Poems #69 3+(1) form
Poetry Tow Truck #35: Rain

27 August 2011


No more summer vacation
like when I was a kid
I don't cherish summer
quite like I once did
There's still laundry and dishes
and all the other chores.
Planning a vacation
only adds even more.
So we stayed at home
to got a little rest.
Then went to enjoy the
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Fest!

Poetry Tow Truck: What I did with my summer vacation.
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival at my town

26 August 2011

Love Lost: Philip Levine Cento

She remembered or yearned.
“I found you whole.
I find you in these tears,
and it would do no good.
I will never make it"
Now she shakes her head,
shakes him away,
and she's herself.
Something began here
and nothing comes back.

This poem is a cento: a poem created by rearranging another writer's verses or lines. I greatly enjoyed reading many of Philip Levine's poems in order to find this poem. The lines came from the following poems:
Father (2,3)
Heaven (4)

Poems found via the plaigarist.com poetry archive

25 August 2011

Playing With Brevity

My friend Mike put together a nice guest post for me. In it, he challenged me, and any willing reader, to try Hemmingway's six word challenge. I enjoy playing with brevity, so here are a few bits of micropoetry.

6 Words:

Couch cuddling:
a dog's perfect day.

Thermostat settings:
'parka needed'
or 'naked'

Ecology: the scientific circle of life.

Death: the inescapable eventuality of life.

Everything alive
adapts or it dies.

Love lets lovers glide like birds.

Lie down. Now a little pinch...

Five fearless fighters freed fertile fields.

10 Words:

i slipped
i ache
i laugh
i am embarrassed

Chop. Fry. Add spice.
Stir. Simmer. Serve.
Eat. Drink. Enjoy.

may I be
and loved.

If you're intrigued, you can search #sixwords on twitter for lots of people trying it out. Some are quite clever.

Three Word Wednesday CCLV: adapt, glide, lie
ABC Wednesday: Letter F

24 August 2011

Six Word Stories: Guest Post by Mike Roselli

About a week ago, I remembered a story I was told in a fiction class I took at NC State. Jessica is a friend of mine, and the topic of this particular fiction seemed like it would interest her, so closely related to poetry in it's creation. I asked if I could guest blog here and share a few writings with her and her readers, so here I am!

Our story begins at the Algonquin in Manhattan, NY. Ernest Hemmingway is having lunch with other writers one afternoon at the famous Round Table. He tells them he can write a short story in just six words. Not just a six-word sentenance, but a story with a beginning, middle, and end. A story with real characters and a plot. A story that can evoke emotion from a reader. The other writers laugh, so Hemmingway tells them to ante up ten bucks a piece; if he's wrong, he'll match their money, but if he's right, the pot is his. He wrote the following six words on a napkin, passed it around, and took home the cash:

  • "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." - Ernest Hemmingway

Many writer's since then have taken the six-word Hemmingway challenge. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • "Gown removed carelessly. Head less so." - Joss Whedon
  • "It's behind you! Hurry before it" - Rockne S. O'Bannon
  • "Please, this is everything, I swear." - Orson Scott Card
It's harder than it looks. In many cases, writing a six-word story feels like poetry, which is why I wanted to post it on Jessica's poetry blog. Careful diction, punctuation, word tense, and even upper or lower case letters can all evoke emotion and add subtle hints on characters and plot, while minimizing words at the same time. Often, its the words you do not use that leave the biggest impact.

Here are a few I've played with over the past week. A few were inspired by other works in culture that I am fond of. Some are funny, some are serious, and some are sad. Some don't have a beginning, middle and end, but are entertaining none the less:
  • "CONFIRMD: Time Travel cannot fix typos."
  • "Colleagues discovered deadly neurotoxin. Take credit?"
  • "Writer for hire: Understands brevity now!"
  • "I promise, this investment is different."
  • "Write this down: 'Find new secretary'."
I'd like to challenge Jessica to give it a try and write a few, or to toy with the idea and it's mechanics in her poetry. I'd also like to propose the challenge to her readers. Give it a shot in the comments section!

-Mike Roselli is a graduate of the NC State Civil Engineering department. His writings about engineering can be seen on his blog at mikeroselli.net, though he bums his most creative work on other people's webpages.

23 August 2011

Pint Night

The busboy has two 
three-foot tall
of pint glasses
in one hand.

How does he balance
all that glass?

I envision him tripping.
Jagged edges 
littering the hallway
creating a 
dangerous, slippery mess.
'Caution: Wet Floor'
and "We need a broom."

he has practice.

I went out with some friends last night to the Flying Saucer, a cool bar with a very wide selection of beers. Monday is Pint Night, where most stuff on tap is $3. This leads to an amazing number of

22 August 2011


Dew clings to the window screen,
blurring my view. Not that I care.
The only thing that interests me
is wallowing in my despair.
The new day only serves to remind:
my best friend died last night.

21 August 2011

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Quartz

numberless clear crystals
arranged to opacity
and varrying whites

Sorry I'm late.
A small bump in the path
tripped me up.

This small rock
(the length of my pinky)
was once part of something larger:
a mountain.
We are all small,
and yet part of the whole
of humanity.

A glint caught by
the corner of my eye
Then lost in the dirt
until a short wind
revealed it to me.
A happy discovery.

Without its own locomotion
it travelled quite far,
no quartz sources nearby.
A few minor forces
water trickling,
a short kick,
but it made it here.

Small beauties in life
like this bit of quartz
are often surprises.
Appreciate them.

Straight edges
softened with time.
Half rough and
half smooth sides.
Some parts got more wear.

Cracks & crevices
too small to notice
but for the dirt
clinging in them.
Oh, the dirty details.

looks to be a puzzle
with pieces carefully put together
and not easily pried apart

a rock hurled
a face cut
a crystal reddened
a scar formed

Chance made it cloudy,
But not unbeautiful.

Random gifts of
beauty are proof
the universe loves us.

“I found this shiny rock
just for you, Mommy.”
A little girl's
I love you.

Inspired by Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens
We Write Poems Prompt #68
Poetry Pantry #63

20 August 2011

Birthday Cake

My brother was born 
on my third birthday.
We've gotten good 
at sharing the day.

We come up with great cake ideas.
My favorite design so far
really bothered our mom.

Anatomically correct human heart cake:
red velvet cake with black and red icing,
four lobes and a few arteries and veins.
Dad did a great sculpting job on that one.

We turned 22 and 19 that year.

I found the cake especially hilarious as I was in Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy at the time. Grossness warning: this class involved bringing a freeze-dried pig heart home over Thanksgiving break to study for my final exam. Mom found it repulsive, which of course made it more fun to have around. :-)

Free Write Friday: What's your most memorable birthday?

19 August 2011


Keep it a secret!

It was not their fault.
They could not see his face.

The winter snow
found him wishing
he could explain.
He never was given admittance. 

Found on page 121 of Camber of Culdi by Katherine Kurtz

18 August 2011


My wife gasped.
The doctor kept talking, 
my world was on mute.

I drove home on auto-pilot.
Sitting on the couch,
it finally sank in:

the embryo wasn't viable.

Three Word Wednesday CCLLV
gasp, mute, viable

17 August 2011

E is for Esperanto

ABC Wednesday this week features E. I wrote a poem in English here. Because I couldn't ignore that E is for Esperanto, I also wrote this little story(with lots of E words). I've included the translation right below.

I regularly visit lernu.net, where there are free Esperanto courses. Esperanto was created by L.L. Zamenhoff in order to be everyone's second language. It is incredibly easy to learn and is spoken by over one million people worldwide.

Give the poem a read, and you may even recognize some words.

Vi estas tre ebria.
Vi trinkis ekscesa ejlo.
Via edzino ekkoleros.
Ŝi eksedzinigos vin.

Mi havas ekskuzon.
Mi eksplikos ke mi ekmalsatis,
kaj mi trovis taverno escepta.
Tie estis eksterlandano
de la Ekstrema Oriento.
Li rakontis epopeo belega.
Mi ekvojagxis poste li finis.

Ne. Evidente nevera.
Nur apologio estos bona.
Esprimu via domaĝo.
Diru ke vi eraris.
Elpetigu ŝin:
"Havu korfavoron sur mi!"
Elbe, ŝi pardonos vin.

You are very drunk.
You drank excesses of ale.
Your wife is gonna be angry.
She is gonna divorce you.

I have an excuse.
I will explain that I got hungry,
and I found an excellent tavern.
There was a foreigner
from the Far East.
He told a beautiful epic poem.
I left right after he finished.

No. Obviously false.
Only an apology will be good.
Express your regret.
Say you made a mistake.
Implore her,
"Have mercy on me!"
Maybe, she will forgive you.

I translated a poem into Esperanto back in April, in the first week of my blog. You can check it out here.
*28 Aug: Added to Poetry Pantry #64

Earn Eternity

Ephemeral though life is,
this seems an early end.
I cannot evade death.
Ejected from my body,
my essence ebbs away.

Please, return me to earth.
I'll return enhanced and
aim to erase my errors,
or ease their ill effects.
Let me earn eternal embrace.

ABC Wednesday Letter E

16 August 2011

Death of a Queen

The Vengeful King

"An eye for eye!"
the great king cried.
My queen has died.
Now, how shall I
punish this crime?

None can compare
to my lady fair
whose lustrous hair
fluttered in air.
Who would have dared
to leave her there?
Killers beware
I'll find your lair
and have you snared.
Revenge, I swear.

Killing the guy
who did the crime
will satisfy
my wish to find
justice this time.

The Peaceful King

I know that an eye for an eye,
will only make the whole world blind.
Revenge will not help me to find
relief or any peace of mind.

No one will ever replace
her gentle, sweet, smiling face.
But now I must show some grace
and refuse to become base.

I can show others the way
if I correctly display
how to handle this sad day.
May her soul find peace, I pray.

I felt like writing on both sides of the prompt. Personally, I hope for the second outcome.
Part of Carry on Tuesday #118.
An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind. - Mahatma Gandhi

15 August 2011


How many ways can one wear white?
tulle, chiffon, lace, silk
beaded, embroidery, buttons
mermaid, empire, a-line

All the colors of an extra-large crayon box
available for dresses and vests
You do have a color scheme, don't you?

You'll need a cake (or maybe two):
modern or classic?
vanilla, chocolate, lemon, or lavender
All are edible art!

Don't forget the gifts:
favors, parents, friends
Register now and get a free gift yourself!

Maybe we should elope...

On Sunday, I accompanied my college roommate to the Southern Bridal Show. So many brides. So many vendors. So many decisions. I wanted a nap after, and I'm not even the one getting married!

14 August 2011

Evil Twin

Hello fabulous morning.
I enjoy winter here
in my mountain home.
Make some coffee, 
feed the cat.

Sit at my wonderful desk.
It's square and metallic.
All my furniture
is nicely square.
What to do?

I've made no plans for today;
they only get in the way.

For lunch I can jump in my
sexy hummer, and drive
to get a burger:
mustard, onions,

Probably they'll be lacking
something I want to eat.
Always say, "Sorry,
sir, we are out."
Bunch of jerks.

Maybe instead I will try 
the trendy cafe on Dry.

The idea of the prompt was to write a poem from someone with opposite preferences. The twin's not really evil, but he certainly isn't very much like me.
Thanks to this week's Poetry Tow Truck for the prompt.

13 August 2011

Who am I?

I am more than words can describe,
yet I can't find any good words to write.
I love circles, blue, rubber duckies, and friends.
I believe in conservation education.
My poetry expresses my thoughts and wants
but can be fiction, a story I thought up once.
Hopefully I can inspire others
to love and protect the Earth Mother,
to want know more about biology,
and maybe to create their own poetry.

Write what comes out based on the prompt and just post it. 
You can always clean it up later.
Free Write Friday: Do You Know Who You Are

12 August 2011

Spam for the Win!

Personal Ad?
Featured around the world.
The only male proven in trials.
The results took 6 months.
Quick, secure, free.

Want You Back.
Wanted to tell you that we're better.
The new version will allow many games.
Make sure you want only her.

Enhance your play.
Get the most out of today.
Enjoy games.
Experience play.

Protect yourself from the upcoming risk.
Bring down the whole world with you.
If you can read and are willing,
these jobs may be for you.
Everybody is a winner!

A few fun things derived from spam emails. 
Thanks to the Found Poetry Review's weekly prompt.

11 August 2011

Sirens' Song

No man is immune
to the sirens' song.
While love seems to
radiate from the shore,
hearts and ships are
dashed on the rocks and
drenched in the sea.

Three Word Wednesday CCLIII

10 August 2011

Dream Dancing

Down into a 
deep sleep in the 
dark of night.

Daily doings forgotten:
door hinge creaking,
dripping faucet,
dumb jokes,
dog's mess.

Desires revealed:

Dropped into 
drums beating a
delightful rhythm.
Drinks all around.
Dancing begins.
Deemed worthy, I 
dance with them.

Dipping in the ocean.
Daring to 
dive for
dollars of sand.

Dawn arrives,
drawing me awake.
Dear, sweet dreams,
done for now.
Don't forget me.

ABC Wednesday Round 9 D

09 August 2011

Child's Prayer

"If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."
She thinks only, 'this prayer rhymes,'
knows not its meaning, but in time
life's true dangers she will see.
Then hopefully she'll think of me
and the protection I will give
for as long as I shall live.

Carry On Tuesday 117
Rupert Brooke's poem, 'The Soldier'
"If I should die, think only this of me"

08 August 2011

Mutual Aid

Winners right history.
Warriors write history.

Day to day life
never makes it
into the annals.
Only numbers do:

But how many people in a town
and how rich they were (or weren't)
doesn't tell anything about their
Even our stories of helping hands
are framed during conflict.
Most of life is not fighting.

Life is love.
Daily love of neighbors
working together
to keep each other

We need sociality.
We just forget to write it down.

I have just finished reading Mutual Aid, a factor in evolution by Petr Kropotkin. Sadly, Kropotkin's scientific contributions are largely ignored because Darwinism caught on so well, in part because it helped justify the power held by the government and the rich. I don't think life doesn't include struggle, but cooperation within and between species should be recognized for its part in evolution.
If you're curious, the book is available for free as part of Project Gutenberg, a wonderful program providing free ebooks due to copyright expiration.

Included in Jingle Poetry Potluck Week 47

07 August 2011

Found in Grammar

An action is in itself a signal,
a new step.
Reach for the relationship.
Circumstances would then
no more be discussed.
It may be a single change.

Words found here:
The Elements of Style
Strunk & White
III. Elementary of Principles Composition
9. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic.

Found Poetry Review prompt
Grammar On

06 August 2011

Fibonacci Inspired Dog Poems

has ears
silky soft.
No matter how old
she gets, they will be the smoothest
fur on her body.
I will always
love a dog's

squish face,
labored breath.
He just wants to play
but can only run in short sprints.
With luck, he will find
a small friend
to play

05 August 2011

Klepto Friend

Your kleptomania
should be your problem.
Didn't our friendship
enter your cranium
before you ran and
left me here alone
holding the bag?!
Guess not. Friendship done.

Part of the Alpha-Omega Challenge: Kappa

04 August 2011

Dose Me (Four Poems, One Title)

A small pinch, the needle pierces my skin.
A wonderful dose flows into my veins.
I appear comatose for a few hours,
but my mind is exploring other worlds.

The doctor finally appears.
The piercing pain in my stomach
is only getting worse, I feel.
Will someone give me a dose
of something soon, morphine maybe?

The doctors here dose me daily.
I appear more affable, but
the piercing parley in my head
is not quitting or quieting.

One small dose with his meal today.
No piercing to give it away.
"Natural causes," they will say.
How much are you willing to pay?

Three Word Wednesday CCLII
Appear, Dose, Pierce

03 August 2011


The goal was to use the letter C for inspiration (via ABC Wednesday). While listing C words, a migrant's story started to form. I've been reading Sonia Novario's book Enrique's Journey. It details the struggles of a boy from Honduras attempting to reach his mother in North Carolina and what happens after.

I survived Chiapas, the beast.
An unlucky comrade was
cut off from the group.
Border police have corralled him
in confinement with other migrants.

I am crazy to attempt this
journey from central america
crossing Mexico
to the United States.
But, it is the only cure
for missing my mother,
who used to coddle
and cuddle me
when I was cute and small.

I hop on and off moving trains.
Churning wheels threaten to cut off
a foot, a leg, a life.

Men chase me.
I hide in a clump of bushes.
A church!
I burst in and
careen into a corner.
Churches often provide sanctuary.

It's cool in here.
A clergyman appears.
"Breathe easy.
I care for children of the train."
I notice others. 

For dinner, we consume
cucumbers and chimichangas.
I even get a cookie!
We console one other.
We cajole one other.
We cheer up for the safety
of resting in the church.
I cover up for sleep,
and dream of mami.

Thousands of children travel along the tops and sides of freight trains through Mexico. Children as young as seven jump on and off of the moving trains, trying to avoid immigration agents. Some states are generally friendly and the people are helpful to the migrants, like in Veracruz. Chiapas, the southern most state, is notoriously difficult to cross without deportation, and the people despise migrants. These children are typically trying to reach a parent in the US, most often a mother. Single-parent households appear more and more in Central America, and parents who cannot make enough at home leave for the US. They plan to stay 1, 2, or 3 years, but many end up staying for 10 years or more. Children who can barely remember their mother, or have only an idealized version of her, undertake deportation, gangs, rape, physical mutilation, starvation, and dehydration for days and sometimes months hopping trains in order to find mom and love.

Aug 7: Included in Poetry Pantry #61

02 August 2011

I'll try anew

After all that I have been through
tomorrow is going to be
another day. I'll try anew.

Carry On Tuesday #116
"After all, tomorrow is another day"
Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh)
Gone With The Wind 1939

Another poem inspired by this same prompt

01 August 2011

All that I make now is for me.

When you feel like
they all mock you,
say to yourself
that it's for you.
All of your work
is not for them.

Lost in deep thought,
all creative,
is the real you.
Not what they say.

Lost your mind yet?
No, still making
all my art. It
is part of me,
not made for you.
Lost my way once
at your prodding. 
All that I make now is for me.

Today's poem inspired by OK GO's "All Is Not Lost"
"When they say that all is lost,
all is not lost.
No, all is not lost at all."
Check out the way awesome video with Pilobolus here.
Spread Love

**1 Aug: Featured on The Bar None Group Daily online newspaper Poetry section